|Progressive Calendar 07.27.10||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2010 13:51:46 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 07.27.10 1. Afghanistan 7.27 5pm 2. Global warming 7.27 5pm 3. No DNC 7.27 6pm 4. Salon/book 7.27 6:30pm 5. Alliant vigil 7.28 7am 6. Jimmy Johns/StP 7.28 6:30pm 7. StPaul Greenway 7.28 7pm 8. Manual Garcia Jr - A checklist for political survival/ Dear Dems, 2012 9. Bill Quigley - 14 examples/Rampant racism in criminal justice system 10. Gareth Porter - Fatal contradictions/ The Afghan war springs a leak 11. PC Roberts - The year America d\issolved 12. Chris Floyd - Poor must die/ Anglo-American political philosophy 101 13. Francis Shor - Imperial overkill and the death of US empire --------1 of 13-------- From: "Erika Thorne, Interim Executive Director" <info [at] fnvw.org> Subject: Afghanistan 7.27 5pm ON THE GROUND IN AFGHANISTAN a Conversation with Santwana Dasgupta July 27th, 5-8pm at the FNVW office (1050 Selby Ave, St Paul). Santwana Dasgupta, former Development Director for FNVW, and current Director of the Partnership for the Education of Children in Afghanistan (P.E.C.A), has been living in Kabul for the past two years. She is coming to FNVW to share how an innovative and peaceful approach to development in a troubled country can successfully deliver education for girls in an area where other international aid organizations refuse to go. Santwana will share stories of daily life, for herself and for Afghanis, in the face of the U.S-initiated war. She will also address the political and military strategy the U.S. is implementing: what she has observed since last December's "troop surge," her assessment of U.S. policies, and her sense of the perceptions on the Afghan street about these policies. Please join us 5:00-8:00pm on Tuesday, July 27 for a conversation with Santwana Dasgupta, at the FNVW offices, 1050 Selby Ave, St. Paul 55104. We'll provide light refreshment (not dinner.) Please feel free to bring food (we have oven, stove, microwave, dishes, utensils.) ### --------2 of 13-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Global warming 7.27 5pm St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) viewers "Our World In Depth" cablecasts on SPNN Channel 15 on Tuesdays at 5pm, midnight and Wednesday mornings at 10am, after DemocracyNow! Households with basic cable may watch. Tues, 7/27 @ 5pm & midnight + Wed, 7/28, 10am "Global Warming" Author/activist Peter Gelderloos speaks on world governmental reactions to the reality of global warming, what scientists have been doing over the last 20 years, and how it is necessary to have a holistic approach to the real problems created by climate change. Outlining some of the false solutions pushed by more established environmental organizations, Gelderloos suggests decentralized organizing as a more appropriate strategy for dealing with the crisis. (filmed 4/10) --------3 of 13-------- From: luce <luce [at] riseup.net> Subject: No DNC 7.27 6pm Wanna save the Twin Cities from another costly police riot? The City of Minneapolis is one of four finalists bidding for the 2012 Democratic National Convention. You're invited to a meeting to work on losing Minneapolis the bid! Please join us, and please invite anyone you think would be interested. Meeting to lose Mpls the 2012 DNC bid Tuesday, 7/27, 6:00pm Powderhorn Park, at the benches north of the rec center, 15th ave s and 35th st, Mpls They say they're "Resourceful, Ready and Reliable," but we are too! --------4 of 13-------- From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Salon/book 7.27 6:30pm Tuesday, July 27, will be The Little Book of the Odd Mouth Club time, and the book (though it is not too little this time) is the book about Paul Farmer and Partners in Health called Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. Come even if you haven't read the book and hear about this amazing and inspiring man. Pax Salons ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon ) are held (unless otherwise noted in advance): Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Mad Hatter's Tea House, 943 W 7th, St Paul, MN Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats. Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information. --------5 of 13-------- From: AlliantACTION <alliantaction [at] circlevision.org> Subject: Alliant vigil 7.28 7am Join us Wednesday morning, 7-8 am Now in our 14th year of consecutive Wednesday morning vigils outside Alliant Techsystems, 7480 Flying Cloud Drive Eden Prairie. We ask Who Profit$? Who Dies? directions and lots of info: alliantACTION.org --------6 of 13-------- From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Jimmy Johns/StP 7.28 6:30pm Arizona Boycott group turns its focus on St. Paul's Spin the Planet Nick Espinosa wrote: Contest Protest Jimmy Johns - Boycott Arizona's Anti-Immigrant Law BAM! will sponsor a Jimmy John's trivia contest! The lucky winner gets a special sandwich! Boycott Arizona---Minnesota! (BAM!) Immigrants and allies Wednesday, July 28, 2010, 6:30 p.m.- 7:15 p.m. Jimmy John's St. Paul 2446 University Avenue, St. Paul ( University & 280) Why: Franchise owners won't sign statement condemning Jimmy John's founder who funds the campaigns of anti-immigrant demagogues like Joe Arpaio and John McCain who are outspoken supporters of SB1070 Media visuals: Contest, street theater, protesters, signs, pickets The story: Jimmy John's founder funds the campaigns of anti-immigrant demagogues like Joe Arpaio and John McCain who are outspoken supporters of SB1070. Founded in 1983 by James "Jimmy John" Liautaud, Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches have expanded to over 1000 shops, including two franchise operations in Minnesota, Miklin and Spin the Planet Enterprises. Each franchise pays the parent corporation in Illinois about 10.5 percent in sales and branded royalties. Unfortunately, some of that money has ended up assisting the campaigns of racist demagogues like Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, infamous for his anti-immigrant policies. Prior to the 2008 election, the Liautaud Development Group LLC (also run by Jimmy John) funneled $10,000 to the "Sheriff Command Association," which smeared Arpaio's opponent, Dan Saban. Nationally, Liautaud has funded Senator John McCain in recent transformation as an anti-comprehensive immigration reform candidate ($4.600 in 2008), as well as contributing $5,000 in 2009 to the "Free and Strong America PAC, which contributes to anti-reform U.S. Representatives and Senators. For this reason we are giving Jimmy John's sandwiches the title "Freaky Facist" We continue to demand that the franchise holders publicly denounce SB1070 in writing - or face the boycott! Miklin Enterprises signed the following statement last week, and so BAM! turns its attention east to Spin the Planet. To Whom It May Concern:MikLin Enterprises, Inc. is a local family owned Jimmy John's franchisee. We employ nearly 200 people without regard to race, gender, national origin or sexual preference. We reject Arizona's SB1070 and urge the federal government to repeal this misguided law. We support the passage of just and humane comprehensive immigration reform./ Michael L. Mulligan President, MikLin Enterprises, Inc/ When contacted about the action by BAM!, Spin the Planet Enterprise's CEO Dan Vansteenberg promised to contribute money to support SB1070 with each protect (*Contact : 651-288-1404 ex 102*) More info on Jimmy John's: http://www.boycottarizona1070.com/jimmy.php <http://www.boycottarizona1070.com/jimmy.php> Boycott Arizona -- Minnesota! (BAM!) Immigrants and Allies An alliance of Minnesota immigrants and their allies have launched a campaign to Repeal SB1070 by encouraging individuals, organizations, and businesses to boycott Arizona, and to show right wing extremists that we will not tolerate hateful Arizona style laws here in Minnesota. http://bamcampaign.wordpress.com/ Contact: Nick Espinosa, 612-432-8888, BAM! Campaign organizer --------7 of 13-------- From: Anne R. Carroll <carrfran [at] qwest.net> Subject: StPaul Greenway 7.28 7pm Envisioning the St. Paul Greenway Wed, July 28, 2010 7:00 pm -- 8:30 pm Linwood Rec Center, 860 St. Clair Ave Plans are underway for a bike/walk trail linking downtown St. Paul with the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis and we need your help to make it happen! Join St. Paul Smart Trips and the St. Paul Greenway Committee for this community event to rally support for a comprehensive pedestrian and bicycle greenway in St. Paul. The City of St. Paul has already begun planning for a narrow path, but we want something better! Come learn about the project, share your vision and voice your support for a world-class green urban trail that accommodates all users safely and comfortably. For more information contact Laura Baum (laura [at] smart-trips.org, 651-224-8555 x21) or visit www.smart-trips.org/greenway --------8 of 13-------- "The Democratic Party captures the hopes of people who want to live like Republicans, but want to think of themselves as nice." -from article A Checklist for Political Survival Dear Democrats, 2012 By MANUEL GARCIA, Jr. July 27, 2010 CounterPunch Logically, it is pointless to vote for you, as I explained in 2008. But, public delusions and political pork barrel being perennially popular, you will no doubt retain your hold on the hopes of tens of millions nationally, which you will invariably continue to betray. Clearly, it is your job to prod the reluctant rear of the herd into the same stockyard that your Republican partners lead the eager, stampeding front. It's easy to see the attraction of this drive from the cowboys' perspective: anticipating the camaraderie of a hearty feed on prime rib around the campfire, and pockets bulging with wages at the end of the drive. However, when given any thought, one has to concede that the attractions of the drive are lost to any members of the herd being driven. Fortunately for you, few in the herd think beyond chewing into the immediate satisfaction rubbing into their muzzles, so they usually serve their function as prime rib. Much of the public has the mistaken belief that the purpose of political parties in the United States is to consolidate a set of broad consensus on national issues, such as the economy, the mechanics and economics of food production and distribution, the structure of national defense forces, and the implementation of social services: education, health, retirement and elder-care; so as to craft legislation that governs how these and other matters are to be dealt with for the public good. It is amazing that such a mistaken and inverted view of reality could ever have become common. Of course, it is the parties that are supposed to be the beneficiaries of government action, and the public whose purpose is to ensure that beneficence by suppling the labor and capital needed to implement government action (or inaction) mandated by the bipartisan directorate. For example, it is the public's duty to: -- provide a mass base of unthinking public approval for the status quo, such as by voting for Democrats and Republicans only (and so helping decide the biannual and quadrennial local and national contests selecting which partner will be the respective pork barrel meister-in-chief for the term), by manning party and race rallies (to maintain public social disunity), and following directions en masse in the many sanctioned corporate-financed political campaigns; -- supply the living and future dead soldiers for the ongoing foreign wars; -- buy products and services as directed by the entertaining and instructional advertisements in major media; -- assume the tax burden necessary to underwrite the profitability of otherwise failing corporations, which profitability the bipartisan directorate deems to be a "national interest"; -- be an absorptive market for the waste production of national security industries (e.g., assume liability for civilian nuclear power; sustain the use of high-tech para-military cop equipment); -- sustain the operation of a wealth-based adjudication-prison system, a corporate-government partnership and punitive element of social control; -- support by every thought, word and deed the primacy of national security needs, as defined by the Pentagon and the bipartisan directorate, to the access of national resources over any selfish humanitarian or public social considerations (e.g., expending tax revenues - "emergency war supplemental" - to continue funding the bombardments in Central Asia and East Africa, instead of profitless subsidies for continuing unemployment benefits or a variety of public social services); -- remember that the nation is defined by its national security tasks framing its corporate financial capital essence, NOT by the massed and, by definition, petty concerns of its self-absorbed "rubber bumper" population. At this time in U.S. history, the Republican Party commands the loyalties of those motivated by simple white Judeo-Christian supremacy, finance capital greed, and hegemonic US militarism. Humanitarian, cultural, artistic and environmental considerations are absent, except when seen as impediments. This is the mindset of social inertia supporting exploitation full speed ahead. The Democratic Party captures the hopes of people who want to live like Republicans, but want to think of themselves as nice. It is easy to see how minimal intellect presents few problems in maintaining a Republican mindset, yet how helpful intellectual agility can be for a Democrat, whose self-image can require considerable mental gymnastics to maintain. In both cases, the identification with a party is usually reduced to a habit, because most people try to minimize their amount of thinking (which is sad, because this popular lack of thought is a very useful lever exploited by the manipulators of social control). So, Democrats tend to "reach out" to leftist political outcasts, presumed to be politically homeless without them (intentionally so, as the Democrats work to suppress "third" parties), in an effort to produce electoral majorities that will gain Democrats pork-barrel-dispensing seniority when in government. Of course, the purpose of the voter is to promote the interests of the party, and not vice versa; so after the electoral victory the leftist issues and vote-seducing party rhetoric are expeditiously excreted, to trim the party for its primary purpose of implementing its previously agreed upon corporate agenda. One can be forgiven for being "used" or "fooled" and "disappointed" by such political exploitation once, but not multiply. If nothing else, then just self-respect demands one decide on what one really wants to vote for, and then stick to it. Vote for what you believe in. If a party does not act as you believe it should, then don't vote for it. If you follow that simple rule (just stated twice), then you will never be "used" or "fooled" and "disappointed" by a political party or political campaign again. People loyal to either the Republican or Democratic parties, and completely satisfied with the conditions of the United States and the world today, have a completely consistent position because they unambiguously support the bipartisan consensus that produced those conditions. If, like me, you do not like the current situation, domestically and internationally, then you can make a list of your priorities and use it to gauge the performance (NOT just rhetoric) of candidates and parties you could vote for (and campaigns and public interest groups you could join and work with). Let your allegiance follow your values, and not be shackled by habit nor fear (nor pork barrel) to any one political power club. So, dear Democrats, in a public answer to your many mailed and e-mailed appeals for my money - oh, and yes, my vote - here is my list of what I am voting for, and which I will use to identify matching candidates: the people whose past performance suggests they are most likely to implement my political goals. You may quantify my loyalty to your party by its degree of coherence to these goals. Checklist for 2012 and Beyond: 1) Safeguard the U.S. Social Security Trust Fund and its traditional use: no privatization of any kind, no diversion of funds ever. 2) End the Israel subsidies until Israel's complete withdrawal (of its military and settlements) behind its 1967 borders with Gaza and the West Bank. Since it would be impossible to ensure that foreign aid money given to Israel for humanitarian purposes would not be surreptitiously diverted to the Israeli military and the Israeli settlement activity (land theft in Palestine), a complete ban on foreign aid would be necessary until verifiable Israeli compliance with the world consensus on international justice (codified in UN resolutions, its charter, conventions and reports) is achieved. 3) Prompt withdrawal of U.S. troops from their invasions and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Stop military incursions elsewhere, and begin the process of substantially reducing the foreign deployment of U.S. troops on foreign bases (e.g., the complete evacuation from Okinawa - Japanese territory). 4) Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, and modernize it to deal with the 21st century electronic technology of banking and finance (the internet and computer networks). Bring back strict regulation of the banking industry, and also nationalize the Federal Reserve because the management of the nation's currency is too important to be left to for-profit corporations. 5) Eliminate the Bush Tax cuts as only the first step to reintroducing fairness into the U.S. tax code: a reduction in personal income tax rates for incomes below $100,000/year, the taxing of capital gains like wage income, the elimination of offshore "tax haven" loopholes and special tax-exempting subsidies to businesses. 6) Repeal of the Patriot Act. Defending the nation should mean defending the civil rights of its people, not making it easier for hidden and unaccountable administrators to secretly select scapegoats and designate enemies-of-the-state from the national citizenry and world public. 7) Establish a national health-care system, a public "single-payer" all-living-souls-included system. If necessary, nationalize the entire insurance industry to do so; the maintenance of each human life is too important to be left to for-profit corporations. The savings to be gained by the retrenchment of the military (items 2 and 3) will easily cover the expense of managing a national health plan. 8) Repeal the "No Child Left Behind" abomination hypocritically pretending to improve the nation's patchwork of primary public education systems. Establish a national kindergarten-to-college all-living-souls-included plan. Education is a right. The mental and character development of the nation's children (that is to say, the children residing within the national territory at any given time) is too important to be left to for-profit corporations or local racist atavistic groups. 9) Remove patent protection from drugs and medical technology based on the results of publicly funded research. If tax dollars paid for the work to devise new types of medicines, or their enabling insights and mechanisms, then the public has a right to the health benefits of these advances, over any considerations of profits by private companies that seek to restrict and control such use. A similar principle should apply to the privatization of all publicly funded research, for example in physics, aviation, electronics, and materials science. 10) Fund the development and deployment of solar and sustainable energy sources and technologies; end fossil and fission fuel subsidies; develop the range of occupations (jobs) that would design, build and sustain a network of local and regional sub-networks of sustainable (solar, wind, hydro, geo-thermal, tidal and ocean) energy generation and distribution (of short-range and low-loss). There are other issues I would like to see action on, but let's start with these. [I think we can be sure that the Dems will support none of these - in fact, will war against each of them with bitter rage and fearful nastiness. Yet, many are going to vote for them anyway, showing a terminal lack of intelliegence, prudence, common sense, and concern for the future. This is THE problem of change in America - all the dead-heads and faint of heart and imagination dully doing what they have done every election since they started voting, with no visible success. If an animal did that, we'd say it was stupid, and unworthy of passing on its genes. Since it's us, we make unending excuses - and do it again and again. -ed]. Manuel Garcia, Jr. is a retired nuclear bomb testing physicist; his e-mail is mango [at] idiom.com --------9 of 13-------- 14 Examples Rampant Racism in the Criminal Justice System By BILL QUIGLEY July 26, 2010 cp The biggest crime in the U.S. criminal justice system is that it is a race-based institution where African-Americans are directly targeted and punished in a much more aggressive way than white people. Saying the US criminal system is racist may be politically controversial in some circles. But the facts are overwhelming. No real debate about that. Below I set out numerous examples of these facts. The question is . are these facts the mistakes of an otherwise good system, or are they evidence that the racist criminal justice system is working exactly as intended? Is the US criminal justice system operated to marginalize and control millions of African Americans? Information on race is available for each step of the criminal justice system . from the use of drugs, police stops, arrests, getting out on bail, legal representation, jury selection, trial, sentencing, prison, parole and freedom. Look what these facts show. One. The US has seen a surge in arrests and putting people in jail over the last four decades. Most of the reason is the war on drugs. Yet whites and blacks engage in drug offenses, possession and sales, at roughly comparable rates . according to a report on race and drug enforcement published by Human Rights Watch in May 2008. While African Americans comprise 13% of the US population and 14% of monthly drug users they are 37% of the people arrested for drug offenses . according to 2009 Congressional testimony by Marc Mauer of The Sentencing Project. Two. The police stop blacks and Latinos at rates that are much higher than whites. In New York City, where people of color make up about half of the population, 80% of the NYPD stops were of blacks and Latinos. When whites were stopped, only 8% were frisked. When blacks and Latinos are stopped 85% were frisked according to information provided by the NYPD. The same is true most other places as well. In a California study, the ACLU found blacks are three times more likely to be stopped than whites. Three. Since 1970, drug arrests have skyrocketed rising from 320,000 to close to 1.6 million according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics of the U.S. Department of Justice. African Americans are arrested for drug offenses at rates 2 to 11 times higher than the rate for whites . according to a May 2009 report on disparity in drug arrests by Human Rights Watch. Four. Once arrested, blacks are more likely to remain in prison awaiting trial than whites. For example, the New York state division of criminal justice did a 1995 review of disparities in processing felony arrests and found that in some parts of New York blacks are 33% more likely to be detained awaiting felony trials than whites facing felony trials. Five. Once arrested, 80% of the people in the criminal justice system get a public defender for their lawyer. Race plays a big role here as well. Stop in any urban courtroom and look a the color of the people who are waiting for public defenders. Despite often heroic efforts by public defenders the system gives them much more work and much less money than the prosecution. The American Bar Association, not a radical bunch, reviewed the US public defender system in 2004 and concluded .All too often, defendants plead guilty, even if they are innocent, without really understanding their legal rights or what is occurring.The fundamental right to a lawyer that America assumes applies to everyone accused of criminal conduct effectively does not exist in practice for countless people across the US.. Six. African Americans are frequently illegally excluded from criminal jury service according to a June 2010 study released by the Equal Justice Initiative. For example in Houston County, Alabama, 8 out of 10 African Americans qualified for jury service have been struck by prosecutors from serving on death penalty cases. Seven. Trials are rare. Only 3 to 5 percent of criminal cases go to trial . the rest are plea bargained. Most African Americans defendants never get a trial. Most plea bargains consist of promise of a longer sentence if a person exercises their constitutional right to trial. As a result, people caught up in the system, as the American Bar Association points out, plead guilty even when innocent. Why? As one young man told me recently, .Who wouldn.t rather do three years for a crime they didn.t commit than risk twenty-five years for a crime they didn.t do?. Eight. The U.S. Sentencing Commission reported in March 2010 that in the federal system black offenders receive sentences that are 10% longer than white offenders for the same crimes. Marc Mauer of the Sentencing Project reports African Americans are 21% more likely to receive mandatory minimum sentences than white defendants and 20% more like to be sentenced to prison than white drug defendants. Nine. The longer the sentence, the more likely it is that non-white people will be the ones getting it. A July 2009 report by the Sentencing Project found that two-thirds of the people in the US with life sentences are non-white. In New York, it is 83%. Ten. As a result, African Americans, who are 13% of the population and 14% of drug users, are not only 37% of the people arrested for drugs but 56% of the people in state prisons for drug offenses. Marc Mauer May 2009 Congressional Testimony for The Sentencing Project. Eleven. The US Bureau of Justice Statistics concludes that the chance of a black male born in 2001 of going to jail is 32% or 1 in three. Latino males have a 17% chance and white males have a 6% chance. Thus black boys are five times and Latino boys nearly three times as likely as white boys to go to jail. Twelve. So, while African American juvenile youth is but 16% of the population, they are 28% of juvenile arrests, 37% of the youth in juvenile jails and 58% of the youth sent to adult prisons. 2009 Criminal Justice Primer, The Sentencing Project. Thirteen. Remember that the US leads the world in putting our own people into jail and prison. The New York Times reported in 2008 that the US has five percent of the world.s population but a quarter of the world.s prisoners, over 2.3 million people behind bars, dwarfing other nations. The US rate of incarceration is five to eight times higher than other highly developed countries and black males are the largest percentage of inmates according to ABC News. Fourteen. Even when released from prison, race continues to dominate. A study by Professor Devah Pager of the University of Wisconsin found that 17% of white job applicants with criminal records received call backs from employers while only 5% of black job applicants with criminal records received call backs. Race is so prominent in that study that whites with criminal records actually received better treatment than blacks without criminal records! So, what conclusions do these facts lead to? The criminal justice system, from start to finish, is seriously racist. Professor Michelle Alexander concludes that it is no coincidence that the criminal justice system ramped up its processing of African Americans just as the Jim Crow laws enforced since the age of slavery ended. Her book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness sees these facts as evidence of the new way the US has decided to control African Americans . a racialized system of social control. The stigma of criminality functions in much the same way as Jim Crow . creating legal boundaries between them and us, allowing legal discrimination against them, removing the right to vote from millions, and essentially warehousing a disposable population of unwanted people. She calls it a new caste system. Poor whites and people of other ethnicity are also subjected to this system of social control. Because if poor whites or others get out of line, they will be given the worst possible treatment, they will be treated just like poor blacks. Other critics like Professor Dylan Rodriguez see the criminal justice system as a key part of what he calls the domestic war on the marginalized. Because of globalization, he argues in his book Forced Passages, there is an excess of people in the US and elsewhere. .These people., whether they are in Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib or US jails and prisons, are not productive, are not needed, are not wanted and are not really entitled to the same human rights as the productive ones. They must be controlled and dominated for the safety of the productive. They must be intimidated into accepting their inferiority or they must be removed from the society of the productive. This domestic war relies on the same technology that the US uses internationally. More and more we see the militarization of this country.s police. Likewise, the goals of the US justice system are the same as the US war on terror - domination and control by capture, immobilization, punishment and liquidation. What to do? Martin Luther King Jr., said we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. A radical approach to the US criminal justice system means we must go to the root of the problem. Not reform. Not better beds in better prisons. We are not called to only trim the leaves or prune the branches, but rip up this unjust system by its roots. We are all entitled to safety. That is a human right everyone has a right to expect. But do we really think that continuing with a deeply racist system leading the world in incarcerating our children is making us safer? It is time for every person interested in justice and safety to join in and dismantle this racist system. Should the US decriminalize drugs like marijuana? Should prisons be abolished? Should we expand the use of restorative justice? Can we create fair educational, medical and employment systems? All these questions and many more have to be seriously explored. Join a group like INCITE, Critical Resistance, the Center for Community Alternatives, Thousand Kites, or the California Prison Moratorium and work on it. As Professor Alexander says .Nothing short of a major social movement can dismantle this new caste system.. Bill Quigley is Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a law professor at Loyola University New Orleans. He can be reached at quigley77 [at] gmail.com --------10 of 13-------- Fatal Contradictions The Afghan War Springs a Leak By GARETH PORTER July 27, 2010 CounterPunch The 92,000 reports on the war in Afghanistan made public by the whistleblower organisation WikiLeaks, and reported Monday by the Guardian, The New York Times and Der Spiegel, offer no major revelations that are entirely new, as did the Pentagon Papers to which they are inevitably being compared. But they increase the political pressure on a war policy that has already suffered a precipitous loss of credibility this year by highlighting contradictions between the official assumptions of the strategy and the realities shown in the documents - especially in regard to Pakistan's role in the war. Unlike the Pentagon Papers, which chronicle the policymaking process leading up to and during the Vietnam War, the WikiLeaks documents chronicle thousands of local incidents and situations encountered by U.S. and other NATO troops that illustrate chronic problems for the U.S.-NATO effort. Among the themes that are documented, sometimes dramatically but often through bland military reports, are the seemingly casual killing of civilians away from combat situations, night raids by special forces that are often based on bad intelligence, the absence of legal constraints on the abuses of Afghan police, and the deeply rooted character of corruption among Afghan officials. The most politically salient issue highlighted by the new documents, however, is Pakistan's political and material support for the Taliban insurgency, despite its ostensible support for U.S. policy in Afghanistan. The documents include many intelligence reports about Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul, the director of the ISI, Pakistan's military intelligence agency, in the late 1980s, continuing to work with the Taliban commanders loyal to Mullah Omar as well as the Jalaluddin Haaqani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar insurgent networks. Some of the reports obviously reflect the anti-Pakistan bias of the Afghan intelligence service when it was under former Northern Alliance intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh. Nevertheless, the overall impression they convey of Pakistani support for the Taliban is credible to the news media, because they confirm numerous press reports over the past few years. The New York Times led its coverage of the documents with its report on the Pakistani-Taliban issue. The story said the documents reflect "deep suspicions among American officials that Pakistan's military spy service has for years guided the Afghan insurgency with a hidden hand, even as Pakistan receives more than 1 billion dollars a year from Washington for its help combating the militants." The issue of Pakistani "double-dealing" on Afghanistan is one of the Barack Obama administration's greatest political vulnerabilities, because it bears on a point of particular political sensitivity among the political and national security elite who are worried about whether there is any hope for success for the war strategy, even with Gen. David Petraeus in command. One Democratic opponent of the war policy was quick to take advantage of the leaked documents' focus on Pakistan's support for the Taliban. In a statement issued Monday, Sen. Russ Feingold, Democratic member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said the documents "highlight a fundamental strategic problem, which is that elements of the Pakistani security services have been complicit in the insurgency". In combination with "competing agendas within the Afghan security forces", Feingold argued, that problem precludes any "military solution in Afghanistan". Afghan President Hamid Karzai took advantage of the new story generated by the documents to release a statement pointing to Pakistani sanctuaries across the border as the primary problem faced by his government. "Our efforts against terrorism will have no effect as long as these sanctuaries and sources remain intact," said Karzai. Last February, then Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair said what administration officials had privately conceded. Disrupting the "safe havens" enjoyed by the Taliban on the Pakistani side of the border, he said, "won't be sufficient by itself to defeat the insurgency in Afghanistan", but it is a "necessary condition" for making "progress" in Afghanistan. Implicitly admitting its political vulnerability on the issue, on Sunday, the White House issued a compilation of statements by senior administration officials over the last 18 months aimed at showing that they have been tough with Pakistan on Afghanistan. But none of the statements quoted in the compilation admitted the reality that Pakistan's policy of supporting the Taliban insurgency has long been firmly fixed and is not going to change. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, agreed in April 2009 that "elements" of the ISI were "connected to those militant organisations". But he suggested that Pakistani chief of staff Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, with whom Mullen had developed a close personal relationship, was in the process of changing the intelligence agency. Mullen essentially pleaded for time, saying that change "isn't going to happen overnight" and that "it takes a fairly significant time to change an organisation." Admitting that Pakistan's fundamental interests in Afghanistan conflict with U.S. war strategy would be a serious - and possibly, fatal - blow to the credibility of the Obama administration's strategy of using force to "reverse the momentum" of the Taliban. To the extent that this contradiction and others are highlighted in the coming weeks as the news media comb through the mountains of new documents, it could accelerate the process by which political support for the Afghanistan War among the foreign policy and political elite continues to diminish. The loss of political support for the war among the political and national security elite has accelerated in recent months and is already far advanced. More prominent figures in the national security elite, both Republican and Democratic, have signaled a developing consensus in those circles that the war strategy cannot succeed, paralleling the process that occurred in Washington in 2006 in regard to the Iraq War. Just this past week, Robert Blackwill, former deputy national security adviser for George W. Bush, and Richard Haass, former Bill Clinton administration official and president of the Council on Foreign Relations, joined the chorus of doubters and called for ceding southern Afghanistan to the Taliban and withdrawing to the north. Haas penned an article in Newsweek under the title, "We're Not Winning. It's Not Worth It." Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist with Inter-Press Service specialising in U.S. national security policy. The paperback edition of his latest book, "Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam", was published in 2006. --------11 of 13-------- When Globalism Runs Its Course ... The Year America Dissolved By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS July 26, 2010 CounterPunch It was 2017. Clans were governing America. The first clans organized around local police forces. The conservatives' war on crime during the late 20th century and the Bush/Obama war on terror during the first decade of the 21st century had resulted in the police becoming militarized and unaccountable. As society broke down, the police became warlords. The state police broke apart, and the officers were subsumed into the local forces of their communities. The newly formed tribes expanded to encompass the relatives and friends of the police. The dollar had collapsed as world reserve currency in 2012 when the worsening economic depression made it clear to Washington's creditors that the federal budget deficit was too large to be financed except by the printing of money. With the dollar's demise, import prices skyrocketed. As Americans were unable to afford foreign-made goods, the transnational corporations that were producing offshore for US markets were bankrupted, further eroding the government's revenue base. The government was forced to print money in order to pay its bills, causing domestic prices to rise rapidly. Faced with hyperinflation, Washington took recourse in terminating Social Security and Medicare and followed up by confiscating the remnants of private pensions. This provided a one-year respite, but with no more resources to confiscate, money creation and hyperinflation resumed. Organized food deliveries broke down when the government fought hyperinflation with fixed prices and the mandate that all purchases and sales had to be in US paper currency. Unwilling to trade appreciating goods for depreciating paper, goods disappeared from stores. Washington responded as Lenin had done during the "war communism" period of Soviet history. The government sent troops to confiscate goods for distribution in kind to the population. This was a temporary stop-gap until existing stocks were depleted, as future production was discouraged. Much of the confiscated stocks became the property of the troops who seized the goods. Goods reappeared in markets under the protection of local warlords. Transactions were conducted in barter and in gold, silver, and copper coins. Other clans organized around families and individuals who possessed stocks of food, bullion, guns and ammunition. Uneasy alliances formed to balance differences in clan strengths. Betrayals quickly made loyalty a necessary trait for survival. Large scale food and other production broke down as local militias taxed distribution as goods moved across local territories. Washington seized domestic oil production and refineries, but much of the government's gasoline was paid for safe passage across clan territories. Most of the troops in Washington's overseas bases were abandoned. As their resource stocks were drawn down, the abandoned soldiers were forced into alliances with those with whom they had been fighting. Washington found it increasingly difficult to maintain itself. As it lost control over the country, Washington was less able to secure supplies from abroad as tribute from those Washington threatened with nuclear attack. Gradually other nuclear powers realized that the only target in America was Washington. The more astute saw the writing on the wall and slipped away from the former capital city. When Rome began her empire, Rome's currency consisted of gold and silver coinage. Rome was well organized with efficient institutions and the ability to supply troops in the field so that campaigns could continue indefinitely, a monopoly in the world of Rome's time. When hubris sent America in pursuit of overseas empire, the venture coincided with the offshoring of American manufacturing, industrial, and professional service jobs and the corresponding erosion of the government's tax base, with the advent of massive budget and trade deficits, with the erosion of the fiat paper currency's value, and with America's dependence on foreign creditors and puppet rulers. The Roman Empire lasted for centuries. The American one collapsed overnight. Rome's corruption became the strength of her enemies, and the Western Empire was overrun. America's collapse occurred when government ceased to represent the people and became the instrument of a private oligarchy. Decisions were made in behalf of short-term profits for the few at the expense of unmanageable liabilities for the many. Overwhelmed by liabilities, the government collapsed. Globalism had run its course. Life reformed on a local basis. Paul Craig Roberts was an editor of the Wall Street Journal and an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. His latest book, HOW THE ECONOMY WAS LOST, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts [at] yahoo.com --------12 of 13-------- Anglo-American Political Philosophy 101 The Poor Must Die By CHRIS FLOYD July 27, 2010 CounterPunch News from Blighty: the disparity in death rates between the well-off and the poor in the UK is now greater than at any time since 1921. The London Review of Books points to a new study by the British Medical Journal that shows that by 2007, "for every 100 people under the age of 65 dying in the best-off areas, 199 were dying in the poorest tenth of areas." The Journal study said that the data suggest "it was only prolonged and enthusiastic state intervention" that kept the disparity from being greater. On the other hand, the elite-coddling market jihadism of the Clintonian-Obamaish "New Labour" government (or as the BMJ more politely puts it, "the prolonged state disengagement in promoting equality in outcome") helped stretch the yawning gap even further. In other words, the few spare pence that the war criminals of the Labour government threw at the poor kept them from dying quite as fast as they would have done otherwise under the system of voracious corporate rapine that Labour entrenched and expanded after inheriting it from the Thatcherite Tories in 1997. Now, even those few pence are being stripped away - gleefully w- by what many say is the most extremist government Britain has ever seen, outstripping even Margaret Thatcher in the scope of its draconian cuts and the fervor of its market fundamentalism. The savage cutbacks and vast, churning upheavals being pushed through, at breakneck speed, by the new Conservative government (and its truly pathetic coalition "partner," the lapdog Lib Dems) will sends millions of people tumbling down into a permanent underclass - and finally, after 60 years of trying, gut the national health service with a stealth "Americanization" that will turn the operation of local doctors' offices over to private firms (many of them from the US) and privatize public hospitals, allowing them to "fail" - and close - if they don't produce enough cash for their elite shareholders. Meanwhile, the schools are now in the hands of the arch-neocon Michael Gove, who is plotting with revisionist historian Niall Ferguson to impose a pro-Empire, pro-elite "national greatness" ideology on the young. Gove is also using "emergency" legislative procedures to strip public schools away from the oversight of democratically elected local government and put them into the hands of unaccountable corporations, religious groups and wealthy elites. This Revolution of the Rich is being justified by a carefully crafted, constantly stoked panic about budget deficits, pointing to the example of the perpetually weak government and economy of Greece as a horror story to be avoided at all costs. Yet even if the Greek situation was as dire as the fearmongers make out, the fact remains that the cuts which the Tory-LapDog coalition is making in the much stronger, much more stable UK are actually far in excess than those being imposed upon Greece. As with the fearmongering about "Iraqi WMDs," the "dangers of the deficit" are being exaggerated - and manufactured - in order to put into place a pre-existing (and transatlantic) ideological agenda: neo-feudal oligarchism. But in almost all of these measures, the Tory-LapDog government is only entrenching and expanding the "market-led reforms" imposed by New Labour. And "New Labour" was of course a close copy of the "New Democrats" of Bill Clinton and his clique of "triangulating" bagmen for Big Money - scarcely distinguishable from the Reagan-Bush faction that preceded them, and then succeeded them in the Bush dynasty's second turn in the White House. And we all know that "continuity" is the byword of the Obama administration, which is chock-a-block with holdovers not only from strangulating triangulators of the Clinton era but also the imperial militarists from the two Bush reigns. Thus for more than 30 years, the world-dominating Anglo-American alliance has been under the sway of factions which, for all their internal squabbling and hair-splitting, are strongly united in their steadfast, unshakeable adherence to the perpetuation - and expansion - of elite power and privilege. They have shown themselves willing - eager - to degrade their own societies (and destroy many others) in the service of this brutal, barbaric, inhuman faith. The poor have no place in this system, which is a retrograde, hi-tech, rhetorically sugarcoated revival of the laissez-faire fantasies of the past, as Jeremy Seabrook notes: "'Pauperism' long ago took on the colour of culpability. The distinction between the idle and improvident poor and the "deserving" goes back at least to the Elizabethan poor law. It took on a new force in the early industrial era, which saw an unprecedented growth in pauperism. The enthusiasts of laissez-faire concluded that the evil was compounded by efforts to relieve it, and helping the poor only increased their number. Everything indicated that "natural" processes should be allowed to take their course. .... In this version of the world, the market mechanism is as flawless a creation as the earth, and should remain untouched by the hand of meddlers, whose only effect is to upset its power to enrich us all. It is remarkable that the establishment of laissez-faire itself in the early 19th century required an enormous amount of government intervention and regulation ..." And so it is today. The "regulation" of the health care industry introduced by the Obama Administration is actually a gargantuan transfer of wealth, by force, from working people and the poor to a few huge corporations. The financial "regulation" signed into law is yet another sham that will leave the rapacious fools and fraudsters who brought down the global economy - and triggered the convenient "deficit crisis" by demanding massive bailouts of public money for their private businesses - at large and in charge of the world's finances. Meanwhile, more and more government regulations restrict the right of ordinary citizens to challenge the rich and powerful in court, or to register a public protest (herding them instead into the truly hideous "free speech zones") - even as the state grants corporations extraordinary privileges to interfere with the political process with their vast resources and protects their leaders from personal accountability for the ravages they commit. The government "intervention and regulation" on behalf of the industries and elites who service the endlessly expanding symbiosis of corporate, military and 'security' power - stretching even to the countenancing and cover-up of torture and murder - is one of the defining elements of our age. And as Glenn Ford notes, Obama is preparing to "regulate" the last tattered fragments of the social welfare system - already decimated by the progressive's favorite good old boy, Bill Cinton - right out of existence: "In April of this year, Obama once again reminded everyone that everything is and has always been "on the table," as far as he's concerned, including Social Security. His so-called "deficit commission" is stacked with rich sociopaths sharpening their knives to carve up, sell off or otherwise doom Social Security. It is a battle that safety net defenders thought they had won against George Bush. Barack Obama has picked up Bush's marbles and put them back into play. He is the right wing's most potent weapon, the one before which liberal Democrats throw up their hands in surrender without the dignity of a fight. Obama, working in plain sight over the past 18 months, has constructed and rigged a deficit commission to render a kind of death sentence to the foundational program of Roosevelt's New Deal." This is the system - the creed, the extremist faith - that all "serious" players in all the "major" power faction on both sides of the Atlantic adhere to. Their god of greed demands human sacrifices: and so the poor must die. And to keep the system going, more and more people must be made poor: first those in the "outer darkness" of faraway lands, then finally those in the sacred "Homelands" themselves. We have been watching the latter process play out slowly in the past few decades - but it is accelerating now at dizzying speed. As I once noted here awhile back of some our representative elites: "Perhaps if they could obtain these same privileges as easily by other, less horrific means, they would. As it is, they take the world as they find it, and go about their business without fretting over the consequences - the dead, the ruined, the spreading hate, the poisoned planet. Why should they care? As the maggot cannot see beyond the meat, so too these [people] of greed-stunted understanding can see nothing of worth outside their own bottomless appetites." Chris Floyd is a frequent contributor to CounterPunch. His blog, Empire Burlesque, can be found at www.chris-floyd.com. [When will we revolt? -ed] --------13 of 13-------- Imperial Overkill and the Death of US Empire by Francis Shor Foreign Policy in Focus Tuesday, July 27, 2010 Common Dreams The oft-cited reference to Afghanistan as the "graveyard of empires" haunts the increasingly desperate military measures of the United States in that beleaguered country. However, beyond Afghanistan and the hydrocarbon-rich Caspian basin region, the imperial projects of the United States are, more and more, a commitment to Pentagon aggression and profligacy. Imperial overstretch has transmogrified into imperial overkill. While all empires have had to contend with imperial overstretch, the particular historical situation confronting the United States after the fall of the Soviet Union led to an asymmetrical hyper-power, reliant especially on the reach of the Pentagon. The compulsion to rely even more heavily on the military to compensate for a waning hegemony in other domains - and to contend with shrinking resources (especially hydrocarbons), rising adversaries (especially China) and growing resistance (especially non-state Islamic militants and Latin American national-popular governments) - led to a record number of direct U. S. interventions. In turn, two of the most massive interventions, those in Iraq and Afghanistan, underscored the inability of Washington to realize all of its imperial goals. In effect, out of frustration with unfulfilled geostrategic results, the United States has turned to expanded and deadly military imperial overkill. The McChrystal Debacle Consider first the recent flap around the replacement of General Stanley McChrystal as the commander of U. S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Instead of reassessing the military surge that has led to 140,000 U. S. troops in Afghanistan at a cost of $17 billion a month, President Obama and the Senate obsessed over "winning" the war, even if this meant more lethal rules of engagement. After replacing McChrystal with General David Patraeus, his Iraq ethnic-cleansing and bribe-dispensing buddy, Obama gave the job vacated by Petraeus, head of U. S. Central Command, to General James N. Mattis. From overseeing the notorious assault on Fallujah to informing his troops to "be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet," Mattis perfectly symbolizes both military madness and imperial overkill. Beyond the public theatricality of rearranging the military commanders' deck chairs on the Pentagon's Titanic operations in Central Asia, there is an even more insidious escalation of imperial overkill behind the scenes. The Obama administration has expanded the role of Special Operations forces from 60 to 75 countries, and given these forces the go-ahead to "get more aggressive much more quickly." In the process, the Obama administration has ramped up the extrajudicial assassinations first approved by the previous administration and added on a nearly 6 percent increase in the Special Operations budget. Defense Secretary Gates is also ordering the Pentagon to identify spending cuts from waste and redundancy in order to "guarantee 3 percent real growth each year beyond inflation in the accounts that pay for combat operations." In other words, with special operations planting the seeds for eventually larger military engagements, the Pentagon has to plan for permanent war. This doctrine of "Long War" has bipartisan support in Washington, and is key to the forms of disaster capitalism that enrich the military-industrial complex and private contractors like Halliburton, Blackwater, and DynCorp, among many others. The objective of the "Long War" doctrine, according to former military officer and now critic Andrew Bacevich, is "to extend the American imperium (centered on dreams of a world re-made in America's image)." Garrisoning the Globe In the face of enormous budget constraints, the Pentagon still manages to receive the equivalent of what all of the other nations around the globe spend on their militaries. While the United States remains the overwhelming leader in military exports to the tune of 70 percent of the weapons market, it also continues to flout international treaties, such as those on cluster bombs. By ignoring these accords, the United States thereby erodes international legal standards. To project its forward-basing power, the Pentagon garrisons the globe with what Chalmers Johnson calls an "empire of bases." This land presence - massive permanent bases like those in Germany and Okinawa, smaller "lily-pads" that now dot Central Asia, seven new bases in Colombia - is complimented by naval flotillas, particularly evident in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean. This imperium is under attack not only by adversaries, but also by those who no longer accept U. S. economic and ideological models, especially in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2007. Continuing resistance in Okinawa has roiled Japanese politics. In Latin America, leftist leaders from Rafael Correa in Ecuador to Hugo Chavez in Venezuela have challenged the United States. In the aftermath of his election in 2006, Correa declared his intention not to renew the U. S. lease on the Eloy Alfaro Air Base near the Pacific seaport of Manta when it expired in 2009, unless Washington offered Quito the right to establish its own military base in Miami. Correa's decision was made even more urgent as a consequence of the Columbian military's March 2008 attack on Colombian insurgents in Ecuador, probably assisted by the Eloy Alfaro Air Base. Other so-called provocative moves have been undertaken by Chavez. Beyond terminating all Venezuelan military connections with the United States, including further training at the notorious former School of the Americas, Chavez has replaced U.S. military contracts with those of Russian and Chinese companies, and created a new military alliance with Russia that brought Russian naval vessels to Venezuela. In turn, the United States has very recently expanded its military operations in Curaao, under the cover of so-called drug interdiction. With its eventual support of the Honduran coup against President Zelaya and military exercises in Costa Rica and other Latin American sites, the United States [under that bastard Obama -ed] is reverting to a big-stick policy. Yet it no longer can bully its way in Latin America. The End of Indispensability The United States appears to be nothing more than a pitiless and punitive giant, to paraphrase and revise Richard Nixon's famous reference. Foreign critics of the declining U. S. global hegemony, such as Emmanuel Todd, decry the "theatrical micromilitarism" that "is pretending to remain the world's indispensable superpower by attacking insignificant adversaries." Todd claims that "this America - a militaristic, agitated, uncertain, anxious country projecting its own disorder around the globe - is hardly the indispensable nation it claims to be and is certainly not what the rest of the world really needs now." Even as Todd's perspectives on decline are repeated in the 2008 National Intelligence Council's report on "Global Trends 2025," other U. S. intelligence officials darkly hint at a U. S. foreign policy that "will excite hatreds without precedent (and)...do a fair amount of killing." In turn, U. S. critics of that policy, such as Carl Boggs in his Imperial Delusions, denounce the "deadly cycle of militarism and terrorism, involving perpetual war waged from the White House and Pentagon." Such perpetual war is no longer about achieving victory, whatever that means, but perpetrating military imperialism. Although that imperialism is anchored in protecting economic prerogatives, it's also an obsession with a matrix of control and destruction, resulting in imperial overkill. That matrix of control and destruction is bound to what psychologist-historian Robert Jay Lifton calls a "superpower syndrome." In the case of the United States, the insistence of its "ownership of history" projects a fantasy of "infinite power and control...that is as self-destructive as it is dazzling." Contending that the "American superpower is an artificial construct, widely perceived as illegitimate," Lifton also asserts that its "reign is...inherently unstable...and its reach for full-scale domination marks the beginning of its decline." Hence, whether represented by the Bush Doctrine of "full-spectrum dominance" or the "smart power" of counterinsurgency by the Obama administration, the United States is a dying empire in denial of its perilous condition. Addicted to War As resources are stretched to the limit and permanent war becomes the defining feature of the empire, the selection for imperial overkill gains prominence as the modus operandi for U. S. foreign policy. Among the stretched resources are the $1 trillion in expenditures for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Using a multiplier effect, the economist Joseph Stiglitz has estimated the long-term expenses for those wars to be in excess of three times the expended amount. This is all part of a growing debt of $13 trillion dollars. Moreover, with U. S. casualties rising in Afghanistan and with a record number of closed head injuries among American soldiers, the costs in human terms are enormous. And still, the Pentagon is seeding future wars by the extensive operations of Special Forces. Given this seeming addiction to war, perhaps the reference to imperial overstretch is not elastic enough to contain the contradictions and absurdities in these war-making policies. Among the most absurd, reminiscent of the antics of the fictional operator Milo Minderbinder from Joseph Heller's satirical antiwar novel Catch 22, is the $2.2 billion Host Nation Trucking contract underwritten by the Pentagon for security companies in Afghanistan. These same companies, in turn, contribute money to Taliban warlords in order to guarantee safe delivery of U. S. supplies over Afghan routes. These payoffs also allow an unending cycle of violence that stokes the military machine and its imperial enablers. It's hard to imagine the persistence of a U. S. empire that relies on imperial overkill. In fact, much evidence of a dying empire can be found on the blood-soaked landscapes invaded by the U. S. military and the mad mindscapes of imperial policymakers. From the "shock and awe" bombing campaigns unleashed on Iraq by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, to the death squads fostered by the Bush and Obama administrations in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the drone attacks in Pakistan, the U. S. political elite seems committed to what C. Wright Mills called "crackpot realism." Such policies can only lead to increased resistance to U. S. hegemony. Perhaps if the terminal crisis of U. S. empire isn't evident to the political elite, the absurdity of its operation and trajectory is all too apparent to those with any historical sensibility. The Afghanistan invasion clearly put the finishing touches to the overextended and military-heavy Soviet empire, even with the last-ditch efforts of Gorbachev to withdraw and reorganize the Soviet system. Many voices on the left and the right are calling for Washington to admit it cannot "win" in Afghanistan. However, like other empires of the past, those in power remain convinced that they have a global mission to perform, even if it leads to self-destructive imperial overkill. 2010 Foreign Policy in Focus Francis Shor teaches history at Wayne State University. A contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus, he is the author of Dying Empire: U. S. Imperialism and Global Resistance. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments vote third party for president for congress for governor now and forever Socialism YES Capitalism NO To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8 Research almost any topic raised here at: CounterPunch http://counterpunch.org Dissident Voice http://dissidentvoice.org Common Dreams http://commondreams.org Once you're there, do a search on your topic, eg obama drones
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